Fiber is an important component of a healthy diet, but many of us do not get enough. The recommended daily intake is 25-38 grams per day and most Americans typically consume about 15 g. Fiber aids in digestion, helps bind excess cholesterol and helps break down protein and fats. There are two kinds of fiber in the diet – soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber absorbs water and turns into a gel which binds cholesterol, sugar and fats and carries them through the digestive tract. Insoluble fiber passes through the system mostly intact and aids in motility. Consuming 8 grams of soluble fiber per day will provide you with heart-healthy benefits, according to an article published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Incorporating more plant-based foods in the diet is an excellent way to increase fiber and Menu 3 is a great example of how to do so.
- Cabbage – each 1 cup serving of cabbage contains about 2.2 g fiber. The fiber in cabbage consists of about 40% soluble fiber and 60% insoluble fiber.
- Cherry tomatoes – One cup of cherry tomatoes contains about 2 g of mostly (87%) insoluble fiber. As is the case of most vegetables most of the fiber is in the skin – so when possible leave it on to maximize fiber intake.
- Kale – 1 cup roasted kale contains 2.60 g of fiber. The fiber in kale consists of about 1.4 g soluble and 1.2 g insoluble fiber
- Onions – 1 cup cooked onions contain about 2.90 g of fiber. The fiber in onions consist of about 0.80 g insoluble fiber and 2.10 g soluble fiber.
Cavatelli made with fermented whole grain flour – One cup of whole grain flour contains about 13g of mostly insoluble fiber. Many people are steering clear of grains these days due to gluten intolerances due to difficulty in digesting them. However, fermenting the whole grain flour neutralizes the phytic acid (an enzyme inhibitor which inhibits the absorption of vitamins and minerals) and also helps break down the grain, rendering it more digestible.